Getting your legs and bum in shape means you can stroll in your new summer clothes, show off your new shorts, or look fabulous in your skinny jeans. While training your legs and butt isn't an easy task, you'll be able to do it just fine if you master some of the key exercises first. If you want to look great in a bikini or in your everyday clothes without worrying about how you look from behind, try the following exercises.
Method 1 of 2: Working on your thighs and legs
Step 1. Go up stairs
Find a staircase that is not too steep and is 30 or more steps high. Start by going up and down one flight of stairs. Then do two flights of stairs. Finally, you take three flights of stairs, which completes the circuit. Do the full circuit as many times as you can in 20 minutes.
- If you're having a hard time finding stairs, check out an apartment building or sports field. Grandstands are great for this type of workout.
- If you find yourself out of balance, use the handrail just to be safe.
- Make sure there are no other people on the stairs. You don't want to hit them and it also causes you to get out of balance.
- This is a great cardio exercise and it's good for your legs. The higher your heart rate, the more fat and calories you will burn. Do this exercise for longer periods of time to increase the intensity and burn more calories.
Step 2. Do side squats
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly out. Step out to the right, bend your knees until they are at a 90-degree angle. Stand back up and return your foot to the starting position. Do the same exercise, but this time with your left leg. This is one repetition. Do 15.
Hold a 1-pound to 5-pound dumbbell in each hand for extra weight and to exercise your arms as well
Step 3. Do donkey kicks
Stand on your hands and knees with your back straight, hands shoulder-width apart and feet hip-width apart. With your legs still bent at a 90-degree angle, lift one leg, pushing your heel toward the ceiling until your thigh is nearly horizontal. Hold this for 3 seconds, tensing the muscles in your legs and buttocks. Lower your leg again until your knee is back on the floor. Do 2-3 sets of 20 reps on each leg.
Your movements should be controlled and slow, and your back straight. Your muscles have to work harder this way, while reducing your risk of injury
Step 4. Do calf raises
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your feet, knees and hips perfectly aligned. Push from the balls of each foot, lifting your heels. Hold for 2 seconds and make sure your heels don't twist or stand out. Return to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 30 reps.
- You can also use dumbbells or a kettlebell to add weight.
- To make the calf exercises more difficult, you can also stand on a step, a telephone book or other small but stable surface with your heels hanging just over the edge. Push yourself up in the same way, but when you lower yourself again, lower your heels further so that your muscles stretch further.
Step 5. Squat and do lifts
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly lower into a squat, making sure your knees don't extend past your toes. Slowly stand on one leg and lift it far to the side. Return the leg to the standing position. Do 2-3 sets of 20 reps for each leg.
To make this exercise more difficult, you can work with a resistance band around your ankles. This puts your muscles to work while you're in the squat, making lifting the leg harder
Step 6. Do Romanian deadlifts
Stand with your legs slightly bent and with a weight of 3-10 pounds in each hand. Bend forward until your upper body is horizontal; bring the weight up your legs, keeping your back straight and your knees slightly bent. Reverse the movement, along with the weights, and bring them back up along the thighs while keeping them contracted. Repeat 20 times.
- Unlike the squat, you keep your legs straight, only slightly bending your knees. Just make sure you don't lock your knees to avoid getting injured or hurt.
- You can also do this exercise with a barbell if you want to add a little more weight. While leaning forward, gently raise the barbell up and down your thighs for a full rep.
Step 7. Do curtsy lunges
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. While bending over in a lunge motion, step diagonally right back and left, as if making a curtsy, bringing your left leg to a 90-degree angle. Bend your right arm up with your hand near your face and keep your left arm down at your side for balance. As soon as you stand up again, move the right leg to the middle, and on the floor. Immediately move on to the next lunge and with it the next rep.
- Do this exercise slowly at first to get used to the type of movement. You can easily lose balance or strain a muscle.
- Switch sides with a little hop in between each time you do a lunge to add a little cardio to this exercise.
- To make the exercise a little harder, pause for a few seconds during the lunge, or pull your knee up toward your chest after the lunge instead of standing up.
Step 8. Put on jacks
Stand with your legs together and your hands at your sides. Jump up and lift your arms, just like a regular jumping jack. When you land again, bend down and touch your toes while tightening your leg muscles. Do several reps in a row for 30 to 50 seconds.
This exercise is also a great cardio workout. Try to do this longer as you get stronger
Step 9. Do side jumps on one leg
Start while standing on one foot. Jump from side to side and back again, keeping your arms at a 90-degree angle at your side for proper balance. Do this for 30 to 50 seconds on one side, rest for 1 minute, then do the other side.
- You can start by jumping at a slow pace until you get the hang of it, but try to increase your time and speed for better stamina and muscle training.
- Make sure your leg muscles are tense for the best stability.
Method 2 of 2: Train your buttocks
Step 1. Do gate swing squats
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your legs turned slightly outward. Kneel until your legs are at about a 90-degree angle, then lightly grab your thighs. Jump up, bring your feet together and land with your feet together, almost like a jumping jack. Jump back into the squat for the next rep. Do 20 reps.
- This workout is also good for your fitness and helps burn fat and promote the development of tight and strong muscles.
- An advanced exercise consists of crossing your legs instead of landing with your feet together. This adds extra stretch to the movement and makes it more difficult.
Step 2. Do step ups
Stand in front of an elevation such as a bench, chair, or other stable platform that is strong enough to support you, and place your right foot on the bench. Step onto the bench, followed by your left leg. Step back off the platform with the left leg and return to the starting position with your right leg still on the platform. Do 10 to 12 reps with each leg.
- To make this exercise harder, try holding dumbbells during the exercise. You can also increase the speed to add some cardio.
- The size of the step you need to take depends on how easy it is for you and how much effort you want to put in. Start with a height that isn't too heavy and increase as you get stronger.
Step 3. Do dead-lift squats
Hold a 2.5-pound weight in each hand and rest it on your thigh. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Slowly bend your knees to 90 degrees into a squat, making sure your knees don't extend past your toes. Bring your hands to the floor. Stand back up to complete the rep. Repeat for a total of 15 reps.
Try to increase the number of reps as you get stronger
Step 4. Do side-lunge butt kickers
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Step far to the side into a squat until your knee is at a 90-degree angle, extending your knee past your toes. This will straighten your left leg. Place your hand on the floor in front of you for balance and support. Stand up straight again and put your right leg next to your left leg again. Do 15-20 reps for each leg.
For a more advanced move, bend the leg behind you and touch the bottom of your foot each time you stand up from the lunge. You can also increase the speed to add cardio to this step
Step 5. Do a bridge
Lie on the floor and place your feet hip-width apart on a bench, chair, or couch. Bend your knees at a 70 to 90 degree angle with your toes pointing toward the ceiling. Press your heels into the bench and lift your hips, tightening your glutes. Lower your hips back to the floor for a full rep. Do 15 reps.
- Do as many sets or reps as you can handle. If you can't do more than 1 set of 15 at first, try doing more as you notice your muscles getting stronger.
- For a more advanced workout, you can also do this exercise with one leg on a bench instead of both legs.
Step 6. Do wall squats
Stand with your back, shoulders and buttocks against a wall and place your feet slightly away from the wall, hip-width apart. Slide down until your thighs are horizontal. Hold this for a count and slide back up. Do 12 reps.
To make this exercise harder, try using an exercise ball or lingering for more than a second. The exercise ball is not nearly as stable as the wall and will make your glutes and abs work much harder. By counting longer, your legs and glutes will have a much harder time
Step 7. Do plie squats
Stand with your feet as wide as feels comfortable with your toes pointing out and away from your body. Hold a 3-10 pound dumbbell or kettlebell in your hands with your arms extended in front of you. Bend your knees until your thighs are horizontal, your legs pointing out toward your toes and away from your body. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then straighten your legs again and keep your heels flat on the floor. Tighten your thighs and glutes as you rise. Do 15 reps.
- Make sure your knees don't go past your toes and are pointing outward when doing these squats. Otherwise, your ankles could sprain and you could be injured.
- To add a cardio element to this step, jump up in place after returning to the starting position. Then return to the starting position before doing the next squat.
Step 8. Do marching hip raises
Lie flat on your back with your knees drawn up in front of you and your arms and hands flat on the floor. Lift your buttocks to bridge your torso and use your arms still on the floor for stability. Now lift your right leg from this position until your knee is pointing toward the ceiling. Lower this leg again and now do the same with the other leg for a full repetition. Do 15 to 20 reps.
- To make the cardio aspect of this exercise a bit harder, you can lift both legs a little faster.
- Make sure your back stays straight and your arms barely do anything. You are not supposed to get a back injury or lose your balance.
- Stretch after your workout.
- Always eat protein and carbohydrates 15 to 30 minutes after you have done strength training and/or cardio. When working on your muscles, make sure you have a good source of protein of about 8 to 16 grams of protein. You can find these in cheese, milk or meat. If you've had an intense cardio workout, make sure you also eat about 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates, found in milk, whole grains or fruit.
- While strength training will shape and build your muscles, it is also necessary to do cardiovascular exercises to burn fat and calories so that you get toned muscles. Some of the exercises listed above already use cardio, but incorporating additional cardio will also improve your overall fitness. Activities such as running, jogging, and swimming speed up your heart rate and help burn calories, which in turn will help you burn more fat over time. Try to supplement your training with cardio every week for the best results.
- Don't do strength training every day. You won't gain a lot of extra muscle doing this because your muscles won't be able to recover properly between workouts. Take a day of rest between the days of strength training. These days are perfect for your cardio.